Posts tagged Custer

A Lesson in Life

Ah, Montana at last. Big sky country. And what a country this state has. I’ve seen TV documentaries on the Little Big Horn Battlefield and always thought that the surrounding countryside looked beautiful despite the horrific battle that was fought there, but this site in real life is truly awe inspiring. And I’ve often said in previous blogs how I could feel the history, but here you really can feel the spirit of those who fought in this battle.

As I toured the grounds and facilities the savagery of this battle is well documented. I know the government had their reasons for trying to contain the Indians and the Indians could be extremely savage, but if someone were trying to kill our family and take our home away how savage would we be? I decided to attend both the ranger’s talk and the movie which offered a huge lesson in life.

The ranger talked about Custer’s actions or lack there of, which could have greatly altered the outcome of this battle. Custer had sent part of his troop to the right flank of the Indian camp. This group of cavalry was the first to engage in combat with the Indians. From his vantage point, Custer could see that things were not going well for his troops. He was asked by some of his troop leaders to send help, but Custer stayed his course. We all know how this ends, but what the ranger said next totally surprised me. Had Custer sent help to this first group the whole outcome of the battle would have ended differently.

The ranger went on to say that the Indians fought not only for the land, but also for the safety of their women and children. Custer, on the other hand, fought for the government, but it became apparent that his attitude played an even bigger role in how he conducted himself as a leader in the cavalry. Custer’s attitude seemed to be more about him and who he was than it was about defeating the Indians for the safety of the settlers trying to make their homes on these lands.

Then someone in the crowd made a comment that completely opened my eyes as to how history repeats itself. This person said “maybe if corporate America ran their companies more like the Indians ran their tribes instead of being arrogant like Custer this country wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in today.” Oh how those words ran true. The Indians fought selflessly and would give up their lives to save their people. Life was not about the warriors, but about the tribe’s survival. All things done in a tribe was for the good of the entire tribe and not a selected few. And like the man had said, so many corporate America businesses are run with arrogance, and, like Custer, have failed.

So the life lesson I learned at this great battlefield monument was this, no one person is better than any other person in the eyes of God so if we live our lives selflessly and with integrity we should be making the right decisions in life for all mankind and not just a few selected people. But I must admit that’s not always an easy pill to swallow. I’m a strong-willed woman who was raised to be independent, to speak my mind, and to never give up the fight. I know that I’ve walked on people to get to where I am today. But seeing the carnage this battle brought and how it could have been avoided has made me rethink my strong-willed attitude. To win doesn’t always mean victory and doesn’t always make you right. Being humble and helpful is more of what God is wanting from each of us.

And in my real life I think about all the people that Catholic Charities helps each day and how our numbers have increased throughout these past years. It makes me wonder how much arrogance and poor choices by businesses has forced these now unemployed people to come to Catholic Charities to help make ends meet. Were these choices made to improve the life of a few? We know that for many businesses who have received government bailouts that this was true, but the real question is did these executives making those poor choices learn from their mistakes? We may never know the answer to that question, but the solution to never putting a business in that predicament again is to throw away your arrogance and become more humble and selfless in life. And as always let’s keep going the distance.

God bless you all!


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